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Rose Hip Zero Volume 2 by Tohru Fujisawa
Edited by Luis Reyes
Review by Diana Dill
Tokyo Pop Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781427800268
Date: 13 March 2007 List Price $9.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

This book is the second in the Rose Hip Zero series written by Tohru Fujisawa. The action and tension pick up in this volume as Kasumi Asakura is targeted for elimination by two other members of the ALICE terrorist group. This entry in the series is a real page turner and ends in a tantalizing cliff hanger. Rose Hip Zero is an example of seinen manga, which is manga for older teenage to young adult males.

Zero, the leader of ALICE, chooses Kai and Hayato to teach Kasumi a lesson about betrayal and killing. Kyoji Kido, the arrogant, renegade cop of Division Four, and Kasumi join forces to protect the Assistant Commissioner of the Tokyo Police force when ALICE threatens his safety. In this book we find out more about ALICE and that the tentacles of it reach all the way into the Tokyo Police force. The Assistant Commissioner plays a huge role in the book when he recognizes Kasumi. Unfortunately, Kasumi resembles a young girl named Ein who was involved in a mass murder of 120 researchers 35 years ago! What is the connection between Ein, Kasumi, and ALICE? It seems that the secret goes back to World War II and Nazi experimentation into creating a killer with genetic engineering. As Kido is rushed to the hospital after an attack on the Assistant Commissioner, Kasumi rushes to the aide of the kidnapped Assistant Commissioner. Unfortunately, Kai and Hayato have laid a trap for Kasumi. Can she and the Assistant Commissioner escape from the clutches of ALICE?

The action in this manga is riveting, but the most tantalizing element is the mystery of ALICE, Kasumi, Zero, and Ein. The first book in the series spent more time on character development while this second book spends more time on plot development. The central theme revolves around Ein and her resemblance to Kasumi. Is Kasumi really a 14-year-old girl, or a genetically engineered killing machine? Is she the genetic output of Ein? The question about why ALICE is targeting the Tokyo Police force is also raised in this book. Kamiya, a member of the Intelligence and Research Office of the police force, is introduced as a double agent in the employ of ALICE. We find out that Kamiya plays a central role in the mystery of Kasumi and Ein. The manga ends in a cliffhanger with a promise that the mystery of Ein will be revealed in the next volume. All I know is that this book was a real page-turner, and one of the most exciting and interesting mystery manga that I have read. I can't wait for the next entry in the series.

Rose Hip Zero is an example of seinen manga, which is manga for older teenage to young adult males. The images tend to be graphic and depict strong scenes of violence towards young teens. This manga is not recommended for readers under the age of 16.

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